Semantic colorization with internet images

Alex Yong Sang Chia, Shaojie Zhuo, Raj Kumar Gupta, Yu Wing Tai, Siu Yeung Cho, Ping Tan, Stephen Lin

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

123 Citations (Scopus)


Colorization of a grayscale photograph often requires considerable effort from the user, either by placing numerous color scribbles over the image to initialize a color propagation algorithm, or by looking for a suitable reference image from which color information can be transferred. Even with this user supplied data, colorized images may appear unnatural as a result of limited user skill or inaccurate transfer of colors. To address these problems, we propose a colorization system that leverages the rich image content on the internet. As input, the user needs only to provide a semantic text label and segmentation cues for major foreground objects in the scene. With this information, images are downloaded from photo sharing websites and filtered to obtain suitable reference images that are reliable for color transfer to the given grayscale photo. Different image colorizations are generated from the various reference images, and a graphical user interface is provided to easily select the desired result. Our experiments and user study demonstrate the greater effectiveness of this system in comparison to previous techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Article number156
JournalACM Transactions on Graphics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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